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CHRISTIE ELAN-CANE

NON-GENDERED

Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure

VERY IMPORTANT NEWS

TWO PETITIONS – PLEASE SIGN AND DISTRIBUTE WIDELY!!!

There are two separate petitions – and for the benefit of anyone who is not familiar with the history, the respective preambles are copied below.

Petition One: Legal protection for all trans* and intersex in the UK

Preamble:

“The Equality Act 2010 includes ‘Gender reassignment’ as a protected characteristic. The explanatory notes indicate the protected characteristic applies to transsexual person/s. The definition of ‘transsexual’ is a person who is proposing to undergo, undergoing or has undergone the process (or part of the process) of sex reassignment.

The Equality Act 2010 offers no legal protection from discrimination to trans* people who are not defined within legal terms as proposing to undergo, undergoing or have undergone the process (or part of the process) of sex reassignment, upon the basis the protected characteristic of ‘Sex’ only makes reference to “man” and “woman”.

The Equality Act 2010 currently excludes a number of extremely vulnerable trans* and intersex people from protected status.

The narrow definition for inclusion under ‘Gender reassignment’ has resulted in a confusing picture where it is sometimes assumed that protection applies to all trans* people whereas the reality is that only a transsexual person (as defined within the Act) could successfully win a legal case citing the Equality Act 2010.

There is no reference of trans* people who do not identify exclusively as male or female (non-gendered identity, bi-gendered identity or alternative self-defined identity).  The process of reassignment (as defined within the Act) would apply to male and female only – regardless of medical and/or surgical intervention a person has undertaken.

There is no reference of trans* people who do not (intend to) live permanently within the presenting gendered role (cross dresser and others).

There is no reference of intersex people.

During the passage of the Equality Bill, at the consultation and committee stages, there were attempts to broaden the protected characteristic in order to ensure that no person or section within society was essentially left behind.

Unfortunately the governing administration of the day failed to listen.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights........” (Article 1, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UN General Assembly, 1948).

All human beings who reside within a civilised democracy (such as the United Kingdom claims to be) are entitled to protection from discrimination and to have their fundamental rights respected.

I call upon the presiding government to end the discrimination.”

FYI, House of Commons General Committee, 12 June 2009 the remark “angels on the head of a pin” used by Vera Baird, former Solicitor-General during the Public Bill Committee Debate on 12 June 2009 has origins within medieval scholarship. The question “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” was a dismissal of certain aspects of medieval theology – its modern usage is as a metaphor for wasting time debating topics of no practical value.

So there you have it – the real thinking behind the smokescreen of the discredited former dictatorship otherwise known as New Labour. It was not a case of lack of representation, not even a case of insufficient information (there was absolute resistance under the former administration to my attempts to have other options to ‘M’ and ‘F’ included in the Census 2011 collection of data), it was a case of straightforward trampling over the rights of people who are socially invisible and not able to hit back. As long as the most marginalised sections within society were excluded from protection accorded under the Equality Act 2010, there would be no chance of a successful challenge in the court when fundamental rights and freedoms were denied at such time when the  vile and morally corrupt administration were hell bent on pushing through a (gender categorising) national identity card scheme,  despite the justified misgivings of a sizeable proportion of the population who objected to the scheme for many reasons. The minor inconvenience caused by human beings who do not accept gendered identity and the need to make provision within the ID card scheme – and in all other areas of life – would never see the light of day!

Click here to sign this petition http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/legal-protection-for-all-trans-and-intersex-in-the-uk.html

Petition Two: In support of ‘X’ passports in the United Kingdom

Preamble:

“A valid passport is essential for international travel, and the passport is now generally accepted as a personal identification document that fulfils a functional role in a number of situations where a person’s identity needs to be confirmed.

It is therefore of fundamental importance that the passport, as a representative identification document, does not misrepresent the identity of the person.

It is not currently possible to obtain a United Kingdom passport that is non gender-specific. All passports issued by the UK passport authority – The Identity and Passport Service – include a character to indicate the sex of the passport holder – either ‘M’ or ‘F’. It is possible for gendered trans* people to apply for a UK passport that records the gender rather than the natal sex but it is not currently possible to obtain a passport that contains no reference of gendered identity.

Non-gendered people in the UK are forced to declare as gendered when applying for a passport and forced to present an identification document that misrepresents the core identity when travelling through international border control, and on a number of other occasions where proof of identity is required.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) defines ‘sex’ as a mandatory data element for the machine readable travel document as specified in ICAO Document 9303.

Contained in this document are three permitted characters under ‘sex’: The permitted characters are ‘F’ (female),’ M’ (male) and ‘X’ (unspecified).

The respective governments of Australia and New Zealand operate a policy where it is possible for citizens to obtain a non gender-specific ‘X’ passport in circumstances where gendered options ‘M’ and ‘F’ are not appropriate. The governing authorities of India, Nepal and Pakistan have also recognised the legitimacy of ‘X’ as a preferred option when ‘M’ and ‘F’ are not appropriate.

While there is no international obligation upon the United Kingdom authorities to issue ‘X’ passports, there is a requirement that border agencies of all nations should recognise the ‘X’ passport as a valid travel document (in compliance with ICAO standards for machine readable travel documents) when an ‘X’ passport is presented at international border control by a visitor entering the country.

As a person of non-gendered identity, inappropriate gendered references on my personal identity documentation make me feel compromised and diminished.

The Identity and Passport Service are currently undertaking a review of existing policy as part of a government action plan on trans* equality. The review is due to conclude in February 2013 when the IPS will present recommended proposals to the government. The IPS has not invited stakeholder participation as part of their review and neither has there been any engagement with stakeholders.

I call upon the IPS and the government to amend a discriminatory policy that denies non-gendered people a legitimate identity. I call upon the IPS and the government to make the non gender-specific ‘X’ passport available to all United Kingdom passport holders for whom gendered identification is not appropriate.”

ICAO Document 9303 http://www.icao.int/Security/mrtd/Pages/Document9303.aspx

Click here to sign this petition http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/in-support-of-‘x’-passports-in-the-united-kingdom.html

These two petitions urgently require your support – every signature is important – in the belief it is possible to make a difference.

Please feel free to establish a link to journal entry (click on ‘link’ below) and distribute to anyone and everyone who might be prepared to sign  – signatories do not necessarily need to be British or based in the UK – anyone can sign and the more the better.

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered

Copyright ©2012 Christie Elan-Cane

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